Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Michigan Statewide Bill Tracker

2/14/2017 – Genesee County Board of Commissioners vote 7-2 to enact Tobacco 21 throughout the county that includes Flint, Michigan, despite the Attorney General’s letter suggesting that local ordinances may be preempted.
2/3/2017 – Ann Arbor City Council Member, Julie Grande, sponsor of the Tobacco 21 legislation says that the city will “vigorously defend” their ordinance against legal challenges.
2/2/2017 – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette offers a formal opinion that state law preempts local
Tobacco 21 laws:
“The ordinance directly conflicts with state law by barring the sale or furnishing of tobacco products to 18- to 20-year-olds, because the Age of Majority Act prohibits treating these young adults differently from persons 21 years and older with respect to their legal capacity to purchase tobacco products.” – The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, Change Labs and the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium disagree with Mr. Schuette’s legal analysis, which is only an opinion and carries no weight of law. Mr. Schuette is running for governor in 2018 and has been the recipient of substantial tobacco industry and Dow Chemical contributions.
8/4/2016 – Ann Arbor becomes first municipality to pass Tobacco 21 ordinance in Michigan

Michigan currently has a slightly below average rate of high school smoking, but a far-above average rate of adult smoking, when compared to national rates. These rates will result in an estimated 213,000 deaths of children now under 18 due to smoking, with 5,800 children becoming daily smokers every year. Despite $4.59 billion in health care costs due to smoking and $4.78 billion in lost productivity, the state only spends 4.5% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, one of the lowest percentages in the country.Although it is the Attorney General’s opinion, through our legal analysis, there is no preemption language present in state law keeping localities from raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) to 21; local governments are free to enact ordinances to better protect their kids from addiction. It has been our experience that the most powerful incentive for the state legislature to act is the initiative of local citizens and governmental leaders. Statewide, California and Hawaii’s laws both began at the local level where powerful tobacco industry lobbyists have little sway. We encourage you to talk to your local city council person, county council member or board of health leader. Local champions have largely driven this movement in non-preempted states. Your voice is more influential than you think. Constituents are an impetus for change at the community and statewide levels. Garner interest around Tobacco 21 at the local and state level by communicating with your local legislators through phone calls, emails, and testimony at local government meetings.

For more information, you may contact:

Wendy Hyde
Ohio-Michigan Director
Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation

Jodi Radke
Director, Rocky Mountain / Great Plains Region
Tobacco Free Kids

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Michigan: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card:”The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Michigan: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

We welcome your comments and suggestions: Contact Us